2013-04-22       John W                               John W's previous articles


                  Imitating Pope Francis' liturgical simplicity


In an article of April 1, Following Francis' example, I mentioned four ways we can imitate the example of Pope Francis: A simple lifestyle, concern for the poor, liturgical simplicity, the common touch

On April 8, the article Imitating Pope Francis' love for the poor outlined some ways we can show and increase our concern for the poor

On April 15 I posted Imitating Pope Francis' simple life style, with ideas about "downsizing"

Today let's think about liturgical simplicity. How can we imitate Francis who prefers simple vestments and non operatic-type liturgy and who does not give high priority to external dress? 

c.f. The pope evinces little preoccupation for externals: “The problem is not whether you wear a cassock, but rather if you roll up its sleeves when you have to work for the good of others,” he says, quoting another priest he respects.
(in this report)

This reminds us of the famous remark by Deng Xiaoping "It doesn't matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice." i.e., Deng did not worry too much about whether a policy was capitalist or socialist, as long as it improved the economy

For Francis, only simple liturgy catches mice

Simple liturgy means liturgy that is not a marathon....c.f. Francis shortened some of the Easter ceremonies for pastoral reasons

Simple liturgy means using local language...c.f. Francis has used Italian rather than Latin at nearly all his papal Masses

Simple liturgy means being not on a far distant throne,  but close to the people in a non-triumphant setting...c.f. Francis stood and greeted the cardinals rather than have them come to a throne-seated pope.....c.f.  he substituted a simple chair for a throne provided for him at another function

c.f. the remarks of Francis' Jesuit colleague Cardinal Martini:
"our liturgies and our vestments are pompous"

Dictionaries define "pompous" as "characterized by excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity; pretentious"

This means that liturgical leaders, especially priests, in their dress and mannerisms, should eschew all appearance of pomposity and any form of narcissistic indulgence

Comments welcome here